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Sie: Films Will Debut on Cable, Satellite

Starz Encore Group LLC founder, chairman and CEO John Sie predicted that within the next 10 years, movies will premiere on cable and satellite, rather than in theaters.

Sie, speaking at the Harvard Business School Media Conference, said widespread adoption of HDTV sets and increased video-on-demand deployment will enable millions of Americans to have a theaterlike experience in their homes, and the economics of the movie business will drive studios to make use of this audience to debut their films.

"Last year, the theatrical screenings of films generated about $5 billion in revenue for the studios, compared with $4 billion from cable and satellite,” he said. “Clearly, we are rapidly approaching the tipping point where it will make more sense for studios to release their films first on cable and satellite and later in the theaters."

He continued, "Millions of Americans still love the experience of getting out of the house and going to a theater, and they always will, but in the future, big films will debut in the home and create the buzz for their theatrical releases, rather than the other way around."